Ronin Reads: “This Woven Kingdom”

This Woven Kingdom” is the first book in a new series written by Taherah Mafi. It is a Persian mythology fantasy book about a long-forgotten Jinn queen who is forced to hide as a servant and then crosses paths with a prince she’s destined to overthrow. However, conflict arises when love blurs the line between duty and desires of the queen. 

This isn’t Mafi’s first rodeo when it comes to Young Adult (YA) books; she is also the author of the New York Times Best-Seller “Shatter Me.”

Part of the appeal of Mafi’s writing style is the way her descriptions are able to transport you to the book’s setting of the kingdom of Ardunia in a direct, but lyrical way. 

While this writing style is appealing, it didn’t distract from the lengthy and constant inner dialogue of each character that would have benefited from more action to move the plot further along. 

The main character, Alizeh, is strong. Despite her struggles, she remains compassionate and kind. She constantly shows mercy and grace throughout the book and uses her staple traits to catch the attention of Crown Prince Kamran. 

 Kamran is definitely the brooding love interest. He deals with an inner struggle between what the king, his grandfather, wants him to do and what he thinks is right. 

Kamran is having to unlearn that the actions he thought were moral, might not be. But what intrigued me the most was that the center of all his moral questioning was Alizeh. Kamran was so compelled by her that it led him to do anything for her, even defy the crown. Especially, when the king tells him Alizeh must be killed. 

The romance by far was the most compelling. When they first meet, Alizeh and Kamran fall in love immediately. That trope is called ‘insta-love’ which is when the main characters are instantly in love with each other when they first meet. It’s not my favorite trope, but Mafi did it tastefully, so I have no complaints. I always like it when the love interest is obsessed with the main character. 

While I enjoy character-based books, there needs to be some sort of high-stake plot or one that will hold my attention. “This Woven Kingdom” was too slow for me. The first half of the book could’ve been shorter and still had the same effect. Towards the end, the plot started to pick up, and it had me on the edge of my seat. 

However, the pace needed to be consistent throughout the entire book. The beginning felt too long, and the ending felt too rushed. From the looks of it, Mafi is attempting to do her favorite romance trope, a love triangle. 

Overall, it was definitely a good read, it just wasn’t my favorite. 

 But, if you’re looking for a forbidden romance that defies everything, and fantasy with good world-building, this book is for you.